G4S staff to strike over pay dispute


G4S Patient Transport employees began a three-day strike today (Tuesday 22 November 2016) in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

The employees, who are members of the GMB union based at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, will strike until Thursday 24 November 2016, over their pay and conditions.

The three-day action is a continuation of a one-day strike held on Tuesday 1 November 2016.

GMB previously rejected an offer for a 2.6% pay increase from G4S and St George’s NHS Trust, stating that the deal failed to put employees on a level with other patient transport drivers in the area or with other NHS staff at St George’s Hospital.

In response to the pay dispute, G4S has suspended both of GMB’s workplace representatives and attempted to negotiate directly with employees.

Kieron Merrett, regional organiser at GMB, said: “G4S must now reinstate GMB’s workplace reps and come back to the negotiating table with a deal which ends the undervaluing of G4S workers at St George’s Hospital.

“St George’s NHS Trust must not continue outsourcing vital services for patients to the lowest bidder, simply to allow pay and conditions and service quality to spiral. The G4S [employees] at St George’s Hospital are the only [staff] at St George’s who do not receive NHS pay and conditions. They are paid significantly less than other patient transport workers, including those employed by G4S in other local hospitals.

“Like many NHS Trusts, St George’s is in significant financial difficulties. But it must not force the lowest-paid workers, or the most vulnerable patients, to bear the brunt of the NHS cuts.”

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John Shaw, managing director at G4S Public Services, said: “This additional strike action at St George’s Hospital further undermines the excellent work achieved by our otherwise dedicated team.

“Despite an offer of a third wage increase in less than two years, it’s extremely disappointing that we find ourselves in a situation where patients could be affected through this action.”